Strategic Foresight

Reports and papers

Arms control and regimes

28 Jan 2019 - 16:25
Source: Jorge Láscar / Wikimedia Commons

This report is part of our Strategic Monitor 2018 - 2019, which monitors the international system and assesses risks to Dutch national security. The Dutch version of the synthesis report Interregnum was published in February 2019. The English version of this report is expected in March 2019.

Over the decades, a varying number of arms control treaties and politically binding arrangements have been developed. In this report author Peter van Ham presents a structured focused comparison of three arms control regimes: the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and the Open Skies Treaty (OST).

The regimes are markedly different in geographical reach and level of institutionalization, but offer key norms and rules in their particular area, they are all in a varying state of flux, and the debates and outcomes within them offer a good indication of the overall trends in the field of arms control. In this particular realm, agreements need to be struck in “new” military spheres such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), space, as well as cyber. In all three areas, new arms control regimes are necessary, and can only be developed on the basis of shared commitment between the world’s powers. This should offer incentives to keep the existing framework of interstate cooperation in arms control in decent working order.